‘The Social Network’ wins four awards from L.A. film critics

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. named “The Social Network” as Best Picture on Sunday while four foreign thespians took the acting prizes. “TSN” helmer David Fincher shared the Best Director award with Olivier Assayas for “Carlos,” a six-hour French TV mini-series that was released theatrically stateside and was named runner-up in the Best Picture race and winner of Best Foreign Film.

“Carlos” star Edgar Ramirez had to settle for second place in the Best Actor contest as our pundits pick at the Oscars — Brit Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) — prevailed. Best Actress was South Korea’s Kim Hye-ja in Foreign Film runner-up “Mother” with Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) in second place.

The 50-plus members of LAFCA went with Australian Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) and Frenchman Niels Arestrup (“A Prophet) for the supporting awards with Olivia Williams (“The Ghost Writer”) and Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”) as the runners-up. 

Among screenplays, one Oscar frontrunner won —  Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network”) for his adaptation — while another — David Seidler for his original script of “The King’s Speech” — placed second.

“Toy Story 3” was named Best Animated Feature with “The Illusionist” in second place while “Last Train Home” won Best Documentary as “Exit Through the Gift Shop” took second.

While last year’s LAFCA pick — “The Hurt Locker” — went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars, the two top films of these groups had failed to line up since 1993 when “Schindler’s List” took both awards. Last year’s LAFCA Best Actor winner (Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”) repeated at the Academy Awards while their runner-up (Colin Firth, “A Single Man”) was an Oscar contender. However, the LAFCA choice for Best Actress  —  Yolande Moreau (“Seraphine”) — did not go on to compete at the Oscars though runner-up Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) did. By comparison, both of the New York Film Critics Circle winners of the top acting awards — George Clooney (“Up in the Air”) and Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”) — also vied for the Oscar. 

While the Gotham film critics also went with eventual Oscar champ “The Hurt Locker” last year, the two groups rarely agree on their top film of the year. Two years ago, the west coast critics went with “Wall-E” and chose “The Dark Knight” as the runner-up; neither was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The east coast reviewers opted for “Milk” which went on to lose the top Academy Award to “Slumdog Millionaire.” Both groups did agree on Sean Penn (“Milk”) as Best Actor and he repeated at the Oscars but their backing of Sally Hawkins (“Happy-Go-Lucky”) for Best Actress did not land her an Oscar nomination.

Three years ago, LAFCA  picked “There Will Be Blood” as their best pic while NYFCC went with “No Country for Old Men” which went on to win the Best Picture race at the Oscars. Both groups chose eventual Oscar champ Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”) as Best Actor. The L.A. critics went with Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) for Best Actress; she went on to win at the Oscars beating, among others, the Gotham champ Julie Christie (“Away From Her”).

Image: Los Angeles Film Critics Association logo (LAFCA)

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